Receiving your Child’s Love can be as Simple as Making Peanut Butter Cookies

I’m not a great cook. My husband might whisper that to you behind closed doors. But there are a few things I make really well, like homemade potato rolls, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy.

However, I love to bake. Baking doesn’t get an eye-roll from me, it gets a smile. I can make an apple pie with a homemade crust, I tell you. And I love to make cookies because I love cookies, but there are just so many ingredients … it’s tedious, messy, and none of us really need the extra calories, so I don’t make them often.

But imagine my surprise to see a recipe from writer Kathi Macias for peanut butter cookies requiring three, I repeat three, simple ingredients. I thought, no way … too good to be true.

Some believe that receiving a child’s love/a teen’s love is too good to be true. It’s too time consuming. Too many ingredients required. It’s tedious, messy. Well, we can’t be good at everything, but we can be just good enough in a few areas to make a batch of homemade love.

So, I put this recipe to the test.

The ingredients are—

1 Cup of Peanut ButterButter up your child. Say what’s in your heart. My 17 year old daughter looked so sweet on Sunday, so beautiful. In my eyes. Not only on the outside but on the inside, too. She approached me when I was getting ready for church and asked to take a selfie with me. My heart swooned. After church, I said to her, “You are beautiful.” With her chin lowered beneath a bashful grin, she said, “Thank you, Mama.” She knew I meant it, and the compliment made her day. She might even remember that moment forever. I certainly will.

1 Cup of SugarGive your kids sugars (In Texas, “sugars” means “kisses”). Last night, my youngest daughter was resting beside me before bedtime. My mind flashed back to the moment after she had endured kidney cancer surgery. She had just been wheeled into her hospital room, only 13 months old, and the nurse placed her on her tummy. My first thought was if I had just had surgery, I wouldn’t want to lie on my tummy, on my incision. My baby girl raised up on her knees and hands, crying. It’s a moment I hate. She was scared and confused and in pain, I’m sure. We quickly had her placed on her back.

Returning to reality and unable to contain the tears, I looked at my 15 year old and kissed her forehead at least ten times and told her how grateful I was for her … for her life. As I laid my head back down, a moment passed, and she kissed my cheek.

Katelyn 2001 enduring chemotherapy

1 EggBe the egg-xample. Spend time with them, and they’ll spend time with you. After sharing my novel’s plot with my oldest daughter and seeking ideas from her, she wants me to help plot her novel. 

And after years of singing songs together, my youngest shares listening to One Direction songs with me. She’s taught me every word of the sweet songs. “Half a Heart” is my favorite. You should give it a listen. It’s sweet.

Mix well. Roll into one-inch balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet, and make crisscross pattern with a fork.

My youngest daughter helped me. We both love these peanut butter cookies so much so that as soon as we run out, we make another batch.

Bake at 350 degrees for 9-1/2 minutes.

A perfect batch of homemade love.

Do you like to bake? Do you have a yummy simple recipe that you’d like to share? What advice do you have for garnering true love from your kids, family, and friends or showing love to them?

Reason to Rejoice

Dr. Bowman and Katelyn with band-aid on arm!

We always have reason to rejoice, but this week we have a special reason. Our daughter, Katelyn, had her yearly check-up with her oncologist, and she is 11 years cancer-free! Every time her oncologist walks into the room, he reminds us how many years he has known us … 10, 11 … so grateful for him. And let me tell you, we are so grateful for every year we get to go see him.

Cook Children’s in Fort Worth has just recently remodeled their hematology/oncology department. It is truly amazing. I wish I had taken pictures of the waiting room … huge.

Dr. Bowman with Karalee and Katelyn

I felt like a horrible mother though as we entered the building. I had brought Katelyn’s numbing cream (EMLA cream) that I always use on her arm when she gives blood. She used it for all her chemo treatments and bloodwork, and it saved her many tears. That is one product we are truly thankful for. Since that time, I always used it on her arm for when she had to give blood. She was the only child I ever saw that would give blood with a grin. Well … I forgot to bring the EMLA cream inside with us. I left it in the car. We had walked so far to get to inside the building, and we were just right on time for our appointment; I just didn’t have the time to go back to get it. I was really concerned she was in for a rude awakening giving blood this time. But … she smiled. That sweet child truly amazes me (coming from one who used to literally pass out when giving blood).

Build-a-Bear again!

Then, though her daddy has said over and over again, “This is the last Build-a-Bear” … he made a bee-line straight to Build-a-Bear and let both girls make yet another one! She deserved it.

We thank you, Cook Children’s and Dr. Bowman for years of excellent care.

Love, Shelli

Up on the Roof!!!!


2001 Katelyn recovering from surgery

Y’all, we just returned home from Disney World with many things to celebrate – our 25th wedding anniversary, our youngest daughter being 10 years cancer-free, and our oldest daughter becoming a teenager (13).

We walked ourselves ragged through the Disney parks having the time of our lives. One day, after tormenting the girls at Hollywood Studio’s Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Roller Coaster (my favorite!) rides, we sat down to drink a coke and when our youngest daughter plopped herself down, she said, “I want to sit on something that doesn’t move!” Brian and I laughed ourselves silly over that!

The fireworks at Magic Kingdom from our balcony.

Katelyn (cancer-free), Minnie Mouse, Karalee (teenager!) and Shelli 2012
Brian & Shelli after 25 years. Wonder how long I’ll be able to sit “criss-cross applesauce”?!
Our anniversary cupcake from Tigger, Eeyore, Pooh and Piglet!

We left Saturday returning home. We noticed huge smoke off to the distance. After arriving home, we discovered that there had been a horrible accident with 11 people killed on the very interstate we traveled the day prior. The smoke from brush fires had come over to the interstate, and in the wee morning hours, cars entered into that area and couldn’t see anything. You probably heard about it on the news. Huge car pile-up. So tragic. I turned on my computer today to see where a young teenager was the sole survivor of her family of four because of that car pile-up.

Also on the way home, along I-10 in Louisiana, we heard gunfire. I immediately had the girls duck down. Brian said he saw the light from the gunfire in the car ahead and to the right of us. He said it appeared they were firing away from the interstate. Y’all? Why would anyone do something like that? Scared me to pieces. Never heard or saw anymore. I’m thinking that area should be called “The Big un-Easy!” Grin!

We all know it, but it just makes you realize all the more how fragile life is. We celebrated our 25th anniversary, but we know tomorrow is not guaranteed. I pray we are able to celebrate our 50th anniversary one day. But this is a reminder to handle this fragile life with care and to live each day with celebration in our hearts and gratitude to God.

A Toddler’s Cancer Changes a Family

** Update … when you click on this link, on the left side, click on year “2010” and Issue “04, Oct-Dec” … hope you are blessed.

Katelyn in hospital April 2001

I have a new article out with Chinese Christian Mission about our daughter Katelyn’s battle with cancer. Once you click on this link, look to the left and click on my article’s title, “A Toddler’s Cancer Changes a Family.”

Katelyn 2009
Katelyn was only 13 months old when we discovered she had a Wilm’s tumor.  If I look extremely pale in the picture above, just know that I am very fair-skinned and my make-up may have been too light, but I had been so sick.

I pray you are blessed by the article. And if you would like a copy of the publication, Challenger, with the article and pictures included, just call them or email them through their website, and they will send you one for free in the mail.

Love, Shelli

Brian blowing bubbles!

Katelyn (10) and Karalee (12) 2010